My wife and I have what at first would appear to be a very special gift. Whatever television show we begin enjoying on a regular basis, ends up getting cancelled. I’m not talking about shows that have ‘jumped the shark’, but shows that are legitimate ratings winners, have a dedicated following, and stand up to critical scrutiny. In the past, shows that we both enjoyed watching, that ended up getting cancelled (or not continued) included X-Files, Seinfield, Home Improvement, etc. Now I realize these shows enjoyed long, healthy television runs.
There are other examples of shows, however, that have distinctly short lives, and end far before they have a chance to complete their story line. The prime example of this was the fantastic WB drama Jack and Bobby. The story centered around 2 brothers growing up in present day U.S, but flashed forward to advisors and friends of Bobby, who eventually would become the president of the country. Moral, political and ethical stories from the future of the country were seamlessly connected to present-day junior high and high school adventures. It was a great show – well written and beautifully acted. It lasted all of one year.
My wife has really been enjoying the show “The Gilmore Girls” which I think includes way too much dialogue in every single episode, anyways, it too is ending its run. She had heard that it was signed for two more seasons, but ratings are dropping and its time to end it. Her other ‘favorite’ shows included The O.C., Everwood, The Mountain, and a few other soap-type serials, all of which faced short lifespans. Reluctantly, she began watching Grey’s Anatomy, with the knowledge that it too will be cancelled soon.
I really liked the sitcoms Platypus Man (1 season) and one show that had Rob Schneider and the guy who ended up driving the ambulance on ER and was in love with Julianna Marguilles (I forget what it was called – also lasted only one season). I’ve started watching Lost and I’m really interested in Heroes, so my apologies to anyone in advance who likes the show, because I’m sure they’ll be done soon.
Meanwhile, shows like ER seem like they’ll never end. The characters get less and less famous, the story lines more ridiculous (I saw one episode in which one character was stabbed, one had a miscarriage, one was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and another got taken hostage – ridiculous!), and the writing more watered down.
At least I have Simpsons to count on. That show will never end.